Market research giant Kantar has tapped a former Heineken boss as its new chief executive, marking the first major appointment by new owner Bain Capital.
Alexis Nasard, who currently leads Swiss shoemaker Bata, will take over as chief executive on 30 December.
He previously served as global chief marketing officer at Heineken and worked for 17 years at consumer goods group Procter & Gamble.
Nasard replaces Kantar’s long-standing boss Eric Salama, who was ousted from the data and consulting company in February.
Salama had already announced his intention to stand down in 2020, but was sacked amid disagreements with the board over long-term planning at the company.
The appointment marks a major move by Bain Capital, which bought WPP’s majority stake in Kantar for $4bn (£3.2bn) last year and has set about overhauling the group’s management.
The US private equity firm has installed former ITV boss Adam Crozier — who led the search for the new chief executive — as chairman. It has also appointed fellow ITV veteran Ian Griffiths as chief financial officer.
“This appointment is another important step on Kantar’s journey to become the world’s leading advisor on data-driven marketing and commercial strategies and a key ecosystem partner for global technology leaders,” said Bain managing director Christophe Jacobs.
Under Bain’s ownership, Kantar bosses are eyeing up longer term plans for the market research group, including a potential stock market float in the coming years.
In a statement today chairman Crozier said Kantar had appointed a “world-class” chief executive.
“Throughout his career Alexis has built a reputation for innovation, creativity and operational excellence. As we transform our business and position ourselves for growth, Alexis’ leadership and international experience will be instrumental in fulfilling the ambition that we have for Kantar.”